I, CULTURE Orchestra garnered excellent reviews after a performance at the Edinburgh Festival on 17 August 2014. The youth orchestra is on its way to Stockholm, where it will perform on 23 August
The I, CULTURE Orchestra consists of young musicians between 18-28 from the Eastern Partnership member states: Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. The key principle of the ensemble is to overcome the political divide in Europe and to promote unity. The young and dynamic ensemble is led by Kirill Karabits, Ukrainian conductor of international renown.
For more about the I, CULTURE Orchestra and its 2014 tournee, click here
The Orchestra was enthusiastically received by the critics in attendance in Edinburgh. Kate Molleson wrote for The Guardian that 'what was so impressive about I, CULTURE's delivery was its subtlety, restraint and plain-speaking eloquence'. They described the musical selection thus:
Panufnik's elegy was quietly, calmly mournful, with a fine burnish to the string sound and clean, lucid wind playing. In the Shostakovich, the orchestra found plenty of space for frank contemplation amid the bombast and brought a light touch to the dark humour, not too biting or sardonic.
Of the conductor, they added:
The Ukrainian conductorKirill Karabits was a tremendously gracious guide: he kept the ensemble disciplined and encouraged expressive gestures, but often he let the players find their own way.
Other reviewers were of a similar opinion.The Arts Desk writes of their interpretation of Shostakovich's 7th Symphony:
As the symphony blazed its way to the affirmation of its conclusion it felt that a work so often marginalised by critics for its lack of emotional depth was here being celebrated for the simplicity and power of its music alone. It seemed inevitable that as the thud of the great bass drum marked the end, so the near-capacity audience should erupt with the most enthusiastic applause that I have yet heard this Edinburgh Festival, with each section of the orchestra as they were brought to their feet receiving ever louder accolades, particularly the young man on the side drum and the athletic young woman next to him on the timpani.
According to the reviewer for Herald Scotland Tomas Zembyzcki:
A good performance can leave us with a feeling, an emotion we understand the composer felt while carefully arranging his masterpiece.The I, Culture Orchestra, and its conductor, Kirill Karabits, left us not only with a feeling, but with a vision.
For Julia Pascal, reviewer for London Grip, this vision is a result of not only amazing skill of the orchestra but of its performance with inside historical knowledge.
Sources: The Guardian, Arts Desk, own materials. Edited by LB, 18/08/2014